Outstanding Faculty Mentor: Suzie H. Pun
How does Dr. Pun make outstanding contributions to the BioE community?
Having herself benefitted from strong mentorship, Dr. Pun strives to help scientists find excellence and fulfillment in their work. Her students note her commitment to furthering their professional development and helping them prepare for their careers. Moreover, her students say her mentorship enables them to gain confidence not just in research, but life overall.
About Dr. Pun
Dr. Pun earned Bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford and the California Institute of Technology. Before joining BioE as a faculty member in 2003, she worked as a senior scientist at Insert Therapeutics/Calando Pharmaceuticals developing polymeric drug delivery systems. Her research focus is biomaterials and drug delivery. Outside of work, Dr. Pun enjoys hiking, reading and playing with her kids.
Quotes from nominations:
“I have always gotten great advice from Dr. Pun on how to manage priorities, plan for the future, and perform impactful translational research.”
“She helped my transition into college by making her lab a place where I could always rely on for help.”
“The most valuable thing she has given me during my time here is self-confidence, and for that, I will always be grateful.”
Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor: Nuttada Panpradist
How does Nuttada make outstanding contributions to the BioE Community?
Nuttada is recognized for her dedication to mentoring undergraduate students. Still early in her Ph.D., Nuttada has built a research team of talented undergraduates and coaches them how to become independent, confident and strong researchers. Students affirm that working under her mentorship has been a life-changing experience.
Nuttada joined BioE in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in petrochemicals and polymeric materials and engineering from Silpakorn University in Thailand, and a certificate in nanotechnology from North Seattle College. Her research in the Lutz lab focuses on diagnostic technologies for HIV and tuberculosis. She aspires to become a professor of bioengineering, an expertise that is needed in her home country. In her spare time, Nuttada enjoys activities that bring her lab together, extending her academic network and collaborations, writing grants and papers and discussing research and professional development plans with her mentees.
Quotes from nominations
“Students are EXCITED to work hard because Nuttada takes the time to teach them, gives them ownership over their research, and shows great enthusiasm for progress.”
“She is one of the main reasons why I have had such a positive experience with research and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with such a brilliant and kind individual.”
“She respects my opinions and ideas. I feel like she has helped me make a real difference and given me confidence in my work in the lab.”
“Nuttada is one of those people who simply cannot contain her excitement and passion for her work, her colleagues, and her mentees.”
Outstanding Graduate Student TA: Theodore (Ted) Chen
How does Ted make outstanding contributions to the BioE community?
Ted is recognized for his work TA’ing in BIOEN 325, Biotransport 1. The students in this class noted his skill in teaching the challenging course. He is known for his extraordinary dedication to helping the course’s students understand lectures and homework assignments, even holding late office hours to accommodate student questions and organizing weekend review sessions.
Ted started at BioE in 2010 after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. He currently researches in the Giachelli Lab, where he studies the role of Runx2 in the development of vascular calcification. He has also served on BioE’s Curriculum Committee and ACI Committee, and outside BioE serves on UW’s Graduate and Professional Student Senate, HUB Board of Representatives and Taiwanese Student Association. In his free time, Ted enjoys running and drinking bubble tea.
Quotes from nominations
“Ted hosted office hours using his own time, when the office hours were not required.”
“His students appreciated his efforts so much that he would receive a standing ovation at the end of each session.”
“Ted could have taken an easier course or left his students without guidance. Instead, he took on the TA responsibilities enthusiastically.”
“He would never explicitly give us an answer, but rather nudge us in the right direction for us to learn.”
Outstanding Staff Member: Colleen Irvin
How does Colleen make outstanding contributions to the BioE community?
Colleen serves a vital role in the organized functioning of Dr. Buddy Ratner’s lab. She is recognized not only for her exceptional work as lab manager, but also for contributing her skills, knowledge and expertise to the BioE research community. She is also known for her commitment to laboratory safety within her lab and the department as a whole.
Colleen has worked in Buddy Ratner’s lab since 2002. She is a UW graduate and majored in zoology. She enjoys conducting research, the daily problem solving required for laboratory management, helping BioE students and coordinating projects with industry collaborators. Outside of work Colleen enjoys gardening and landscape design, fabric crafts and learning new things – this year, she’s learning DIY bathroom remodeling and yoga.
Quotes from nominations
“She goes above and beyond what is expected of her, coming in during all hours to make sure that she’s available to help the students when we need it.”
“Colleen is an exceptional lab manager and friend to all the graduate students in the Buddy Ratner lab–she is our Foege mom.”
“She is impeccable about safety, not because she simply wants to follow rules, but out of genuine concern for everyone’s safety.”
“She’s just simply there for everyone.”